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By: Quality Digest

FARO Technologies Inc. recently released an enhanced generation of its popular laser trackers.

Highlights of the new trackers include ADM Smart Auto-Adjust, which improves accuracy by automatically adapting to conditions affecting measurement drift; Fast Laser Lock, which re-locks the laser in less than a minute for maximum portability; and Advanced Target Search, which has been modified to handle multiple target types of varying intensity.

“The new technology is very thorough,” says Chuck Pfeffer, laser product manager. “It never missed a target during our extensive testing.”

The device’s existing SuperADM and SelfCom technology make the enhancements even more useful. “The latest advances demonstrate our ability to make great products even better, which allows our customers to do the same for their products and processes,” says Simon Raab, FARO president and CEO

For more information, visit www.faro.com.

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By: Quality Digest

A partnership between Arc Second Inc. and Romer CimCore could signal the acceptance of indoor GPS as the measurement technology of the future.

Several major metrology companies, including Romer CimCore, Metrologic Inc. and New River Kinematics, showcased Arc Second’s GPS technology at the 2004 Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference, held in San Jose, California, in August.

By providing a factorywide coordinate frame, Arc Second enables providers of robotic systems, measurement instruments, material handling equipment and other devices the freedom to move about the factory. With indoor GPS, awkward and unwieldy approaches to leapfrogging are becoming a thing of the past.

For more information, visit www.arcsecond.com.

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By: Quality Digest

The revised ISO 14001 standard is scheduled to be published by the end of the year, meaning significant changes to environmental management professionals.

According to the International Organization for Standardization, the changes to the standard aim to clarify it and make it more user-friendly. Additionally, it aligns some clauses with ISO 9001:2000. Among the proposed changes are:

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By: Praveen Gupta

Six Sigma has been well applied in manufacturing through improving processes that use the DMAIC methodology. Some larger corporations have integrated Six Sigma so well into the corporate culture that it can be considered the DNA of the company. However, even in such companies, the human resources department has been practic ally untouched by Six Sigma. In a recent conference of the human resources professionals in Chicago, it was clear that HR people are now looking to benefit from Six Sigma initiatives. Two of the questions that have been asked are, “How does HR implement Six Sigma?,” and “What can HR do to help Six Sigma initiatives in an organization?”

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By: Quality Digest

Textron Inc. recently announced two promotions within its Six Sigma department.

Peter Riley was promoted to senior vice president of Six Sigma, integrated supply chain and transformation. In addition, John Mayers was appointed to the position of vice president of Six Sigma. Both men will serve on Textron’s transformation leadership team, which comprises the company’s top 21 executives.

“These appointments reflect the progress we’ve made in cultivating our leadership bench strength, truly representing the essence of our talent development and mobility initiatives,” says Lewis B. Campbell, Textron chairman and CEO.

Riley holds a degree in engineering and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. Mayers most recently served as executive vice president of Six Sigma for Textron Financial Corp. He holds degrees from Purdue University.

For more information, visit www.textron.com.

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By: Quality Digest

Six Sigma Qualtec has announced that L.T. (Tom) Hall has joined the firm as a managing partner.

Hall brings the company more than 20 years of experience in providing performance improvement consulting to financial institutions. He most recently served as a practice manager at Earnings Performance Group, a services provider to financial institutions. He has more than 10 years of experience in banking and financial management, including asset-based lending, commercial banking and credit administration with both national and regional banks.

“Over the last five years, we have led in providing Six Sigma services to financial institutions ranging from national and regional banks, insurance companies, mortgage and credit card providers to vendors in the industry,” says John Lopez-Ona, Six Sigma Qualtec president. “We have now added an experienced individual to focus all his attention on this sector and expand our ability to service companies throughout it.”

For more information, visit www.ssqi.com

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By: Quality Digest

The Piston Group plans to use grant money from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to enhance the area workforce by training leaders in lean manufacturing, quality management and Six Sigma.

The company will receive $57,000 in economic development training grants and will partner with Henry Ford Community College—which received $400,000 in grant funds—to provide the training. Piston reports it will be able to train nearly 90 current and potential employees with the money.

The trainings to be offered include lean manufacturing, process improvement, quality management subsystems, Six Sigma and registration to ISO.

“Our biggest asset is a skilled and qualified workforce,” says Vinnie Johnson, Piston Group chairman and CEO. “With access to high-tech manufacturing training, we are able to recruit and maintain the type of employees that will grow our business and allow us to hire additional workers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

For more information, visit www.pistongroup.com.

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By: Quality Digest

Motorola University will provide Six Sigma training to industrial companies across the United States, according to an agreement reached between Motorola University and Charter Consulting Inc.

Joseph Lackner, head of Charter Consulting’s Six Sigma program, says the company plans to use the agreement to benefit its clients. “We are committed to bringing the Six Sigma discipline, rigor and execution into the growth and customer-facing processes of the enterprises we serve,” Lackner says. “Motorola University’s service quality and dedication to Six Sigma will help us have a dramatic impact on our clients’ business growth and profitability.”

Six Sigma focuses on customer requirements, process alignment, analytical rigor and timely execution. Motorola invented the practice in 1986 and has continued to evolve it since then.

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By: Quality Digest

Henry Ford Community College is planning a “Surviving To Thriving” training event in quality performance, lean principles and performance benchmarking on Sept. 16.

The event will feature representatives from the community college, along with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, City of Detroit Workforce Development Department, Michigan HRDI, Small Business Development Center and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. It will offer business executives an opportunity to gather and learn about new resources that will vault their companies to the next level of success.

The event will feature workshops and discussions on ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 implementation and transition programs, activity-based quoting, lean business solutions (i.e., kaizen, value-stream mapping, organizational change), lean process design, Six Sigma and performance benchmarking.

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Rockwell Automation’s power and energy management solutions team will examine the quality of Kraft Foods’ power consumption, Rockwell announced recently.

By using its energy management software, Rockwell will be able to automate load profiling mechanisms and analyze power quality issues, such as harmonics, to identify energy consumption patterns. The multiyear initiative will facilitate Kraft’s understanding of how energy is used in its plants and help the company lower energy costs.

“Finding ways to reduce energy demand is fully consistent with our drive to achieve efficiencies in all aspects of our business,” says Fred Sherriff, vice president of manufacturing technical services for Kraft. “It is also consistent with our efforts as a responsible corporate citizen to reduce the environmental impact of our operations.”